Spam: the New Poetry

Have you ever actually browsed your junk email folder? Sure, there’s nasty virus-laden stuff you need to watch out for, but some spammers are including a wealth of inspired writing in their messages that a student of modern poetry can’t help but find captivating.

Check out this gem, found in a message entitled “Restore your organs ability and productivity now”:

but let me tell you thats not how it will really go i imagine most kids will want to stay home and play computer games but their moms will make them come and so theyll grudgingly put on a some church pants and skirts so i was wondering if you could help me know how to bring the romance back into our modern life its not really that important no matter the dress or the menu we just want the kids to come to feel the spirit of the temple but its like you said anne when you dont use your imagination to make life beautiful how much you miss what an adventure it is

Marvelous! This passage has a stream-of-consciousness quality to it that I admire. I knew many would-be poets at university who had no hope of matching such majesty.

Later in the same email, the author shifts focus to a new subject framed in the context of modern life:

breakfast i always have two eggs and salsa always i dont really get sick of it and it would really stink if i did because theres not a lot out there for breakfast actually when you are at your ideal weight and ovulating regularly you can have any kind of whole grain hot cereal without a problem you know steel cut oats etc i am not quite there yet berries and grapes are pretty low on the glycemic index and i have those too oh and i love cottage cheese with fruit grant and i listened and danced to his music on valentines day

Fascinating! As an audience, we are enthralled by the narrator’s candor on her eating and ovulation habits. Yet it is the hint of romance at the end of the passage which truly captivates us, leaving us to wonder as to the identity of “grant” and the mysterious composer of the music to which our protagonist danced.

This modern epic draws to a close with yet another slice-of-life observation:

do you have to be obsessed with yarn and needles and hooks like i am to think that is the most inviting little space youve ever seen when cate is too scared to go downstairs penny will go with her and everything is all right she lets cate dress her up for weddings or try to ride her or pull her by the tail almost daily and even knowing the torture she will soon endure she gets so excited when cate gets home from school

Using yarn and needles as metaphors for our fear of institutions such as weddings and school is beyond brilliant. You’d be hard-pressed to find social commentary of this caliber among today’s published so-called poets.

I hope you’ll realize that a wealth of reading wonder awaits in your junk folder. It is perhaps the ultimate irony that beauty and thought of this quality is being relegated to the trash bins of modern culture. The future of our society is alive and well, not within the cold walls of the classroom, but inside the nurturing womb of the spam filter.

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